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Nicholas Grecu

December 12, 1920 October 12, 2019
Nicholas Grecu
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Obituary for Nicholas Grecu

Nicholas (Nicolai) Grecu

The third youngest of eight children, our dad was born on December 12, 1920, in Dysart, Saskatchewan, Canada. His parents, Martin (Marin) and Stella (Stana), were immigrants from Romania. In January of 1924, Dad’s family moved to this area living on small rented farms in Farmington Hills and Southfield. Although their mode of living was simple, Dad had great memories of growing up on the farm. His father (Pa) worked outside the farm a bit to help supplement their income, learning to speak English fairly well. Dad told stories of how his father worked at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery cutting the grass with a scythe. His Ma really did not speak English, so Romanian was spoken at home.

Dad graduated from Berkley High School in January of 1940 as valedictorian. He went to work as an apprentice plasterer until he was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II. Tech Sgt. Nicholas Grecu was in the 106th Field Artillery Battalion, 27th Infantry Division. Overseas for over three years, Dad fought in the Pacific Theatre. Some of the places Dad was stationed or fought in battles include Hawaii, the Marianas, New Hebrides, and Okinawa. When the war ended, he went on to Japan proper before returning home.

Dad returned to his job as a plasterer, saving enough to purchase a small home in Southfield. Dad met our Mom, Betty, an attractive brunette whom he first noticed from afar at Gramer’s Square Dance Hall. They were married in 1949, with our births soon to follow in 1950 and 1951. Sadly, Mom passed away in 1957, when we were only five and six years old.

Dad’s life was not easy after the death of our mother, but he did his best as a single father. He hired a live-in housekeeper who did a good job nurturing us on weekdays. On weekends Dad planned some fun family activities. He took us to Homestead Beach in the summers to swim and to Kelly’s Pond in the winters where he taught us to ice skate. We have good memories of going to the Trading Post for Boston Coolers or homemade ice cream on the way home from our adventures. Eventually Dad met Ann Pompilius; they married in 1960. We moved to a larger home in Southfield just before they got married. Ann passed away in 2004, and Dad continued to live in that home in Southfield until he moved to Village Manor Retirement (Howell) in 2012.

Dad’s faith was strong. He could often be seen making the sign of the cross and praying. He was a member of St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church until 2016.

Dad enjoyed reading, gardening, hiking at parks, connecting with nature, listening to Tiger Baseball, and spending time with his grandchildren. When the grandchildren were youngsters, Dad loved taking them to Mayberry Park teaching them to enjoy nature, and he so loved any opportunity to be with his great-grandchildren. Interactions with people were always fun for Dad. He loved having a good work story to share at the dinner table, especially the humorous ones; and after retirement, Dad told stories about his breakfast friends at Dunkin Donuts. Although he developed glaucoma and eventually lost his eyesight, he still had a sharp mind and amazing memory until the end. Even with the challenges he faced as he aged, Dad maintained a positive outlook. He touched a lot of lives; everyone who came in contact with him was fond of him. Dad especially enjoyed interacting with all the staff at Village Manor Retirement and was so appreciative of all who helped him every day.
Dad, we are so thankful and proud to have had you in our lives. We will try our best, with God’s help, to continue your legacy of living with a positive and grateful presence. XOXO – Grant and Gay

Nick Grecu is survived by his son, Grant (Suzy) Grecu, daughter, Gaylene (the late Don) Vivier, and grandchildren, Nikki Fischer, Dustin (Kris) Vivier, and Dylan (Lenise) Vivier. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Taylor, Jacob, Drayton, Brian (Samantha), Sidney, and Phoenix and great-great grandchildren, Brian and Callista.

Funeral Service will be held at St. George Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, 18405 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield, Saturday, October 26th at 11am. Friends may visit beginning at 10am. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit.

Memorials appreciated to St. George Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, 18405 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan 48075.

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